A 45-minute police chase stemming from minor traffic violations resulted in a Los Angeles car accident, which injured two people the night of January 24, 2011. According to a Fox News report, the incident began in Old Town Pasadena when the male driver of a Volkswagen committed “minor traffic violations” and then refused to stop for police. Officers initiated a pursuit that continued across the San Gabriel Valley and ended at the intersection of Barranca Avenue and East Puente Street in Covina as the Volkswagen broadsided a Mazda.
The driver of the Mazda, a woman in her 20s, was hospitalized with what were described as moderate injuries. The driver of the Volkswagen was arrested on suspicion of felony failure to yield. Officials are also looking into whether alcohol or drugs played a part.
My heart goes out to the injured driver of the Mazda. It is indeed fortunate that she was not catastrophically injured or killed, given the circumstances. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. She will be in my prayers.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were five fatalities and 134 injuries involving car accidents in Covina. In Los Angeles County as a whole 667 people died and 52,229 were injured in car accidents during the same year.
The Law Relating to Police Pursuits
Based on this news report, this police pursuit was initiated because of a few minor traffic violations. It is not clear whether the driver of the Volkswagen had any outstanding warrants or why the officers decided to continue the pursuit.
California law provides immunity to police departments that have adopted a “vehicle pursuit policy.” California Vehicle Code Section 17004 states: “A public agency employing peace officers that adopts and promulgates a written policy on, and provides regular and periodic training on an annual basis for, vehicular pursuits … is immune from liability for civil damages for personal injury to or death of any person or damage to property resulting from the accident of a vehicle being operated by an actual or suspected violator of the law who is being, has been, or believes he or she is being or has been, pursued in a motor vehicle by a peace officer employed by the public entity.”
That said, I hope a neutral law enforcement agency is looking into why the officers initiated the pursuit and if all protocols were followed as they chased this individual. Victims in such cases would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the incident and make sure that all negligent parties are held liable. Please remember that under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury claim against a governmental agency must be properly filed within 180 days of the incident.
Seriously injured in a Los Angeles County car accident? Want to know if you have a case? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation for your injuries? Want justice? Want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else?
Call your best friends in the legal industry after a Covina car accident. Call 800-259-6373. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.
Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys Los Angeles car accident lawyer for a free professional evaluation of your case by attorneys who have represented over 6,000 clients since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a friendly law firm in a comfortable environment.